Hamas puts the ball in Israel’s half

Hamas puts the ball in Israels half



fullscreen UN Security Council. Archive image. Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/TT

The UN Security Council has voted for a ceasefire in Gaza. Hamas welcomes the resolution and the US says Israel accepts the proposal.

Does that mean a truce is near? Not necessarily, according to Middle East expert Anders Persson.

– I find it difficult to see that Israel should welcome it without reservation.

On Monday evening, Swedish time, the UN Security Council voted to adopt a resolution, written by the United States, on a ceasefire in Gaza.

– It is the most serious and far-reaching diplomatic initiative that has been taken since the war began, says Anders Persson, associate professor of political science at Linnaeus University.

– It is also a diplomatic initiative about which there is great agreement in the international community.

Hamas welcomes

Shortly after the Security Council’s vote, terrorist-labeled Hamas announced that the group welcomes the resolution.

– It is difficult to interpret what the word “welcome” means. If that means accepting it fully, if you accept it with reservations, or if it’s simply just a sly diplomatic strategy to push the ball and pressure on Israel.

The US has previously said that Israel has accepted the ceasefire proposal. But it is not certain that this is the case.

– The US says that Israel tells the US in the diplomatic negotiations that it does, but it is not a policy that (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu can stand for publicly.

– If Netanyahu accepts this proposal, as it is written, it means that only one of three of the Israeli war goals will be achieved, that the hostages will be released.

Several war targets

Israel’s goal with the war is also to eliminate Hamas and to ensure that Gaza will never again pose a threat to Israel.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said since the Gaza war broke out eight months ago that it will not end until the country’s war goals are achieved.

– You can imagine that in the end Netanyahu also answers that he welcomes this, but that he has a lot of reservations that go against what the text says. It is a fairly common diplomatic strategy to avoid having to bear the entire mountain of guilt.

FACTS First six-week truce

The ceasefire proposal on the table consists of three phases.

The first applies for six weeks and involves a complete ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from “all populated areas of the Gaza Strip” and the exchange of a number of hostages for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

Phase two is dependent on the parties first agreeing on “necessary arrangements”. But if that happens, it would mean a permanent end to the fighting, the release of all remaining living hostages and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

In the third phase, the remains of hostages who are no longer alive must also be returned and a comprehensive reconstruction plan launched.

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